From Paris to the Flowery Coast, Normandy - Sandy terrain, sun-kissed beaches and ethereal cliffs and, on the top of it, beautiful people and beautiful environment! What else does one need more? Pack your bags, we say, because it is time to explore this awesome terrain.
Day 1: Embrace the beauty
4.30pm Arrive at one of Paris’ airport.
5.00pm A cab awaits you to take you to Hotel Recamier.
05.45pm Check-in at the exquisite Hotel Recamier which is located near the Saint-Sulpice right in the centre of Saint Germain des Prés. The hotel, a property of the former Bourgeois family, oozes elegance from every nook and corner, but the icing on the cake surely is the view that one gets to see through windows!
07.00pm Time to go out and taste aperitif at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. This mighty popular Parisian place for ‘wine and cheese’ is just five steps away from the Saint-Germain market. But do make sure to make reservations in advance because it fills very fast in here.
08.30pm Next up, you will have your dinner at famous Ribouldingue restaurant. Try daube de boeuf or seared tuna on a bed of melting aubergine which attracts food critics and chefs from every part of the world. No wonders then that the laurels of this place have reached far and wide thanks to its menu that serves one of Time Out’s 50 best dishes!
11.00pm After a sumptuous French meal, a walk through Saint-Germain des Prés neighbourhood is a great idea while heading back to the hotel. This we say or rather recommend because it is an excellent way to soak in the luxurious Parisian setting of Saint-Germain-des-Prés – Odeon. This central Paris neighbourhood has become synonymous with couture, avant garde lifestyle and related products and balmy air. The charms just don’t dry up here, add to them the art galleries, corner common patisseries, beautiful flowers and soothing greenery along with historical churches and voila you are being fed beauty with your eyes and senses!
Day 2: Soak in the charms!
09.00am Ready and set for breakfast at the magnificent café de Flore. This café is nestled in the 6th arrondissement of Paris and stands right at the corner of the Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Rue St. Benoitand. This place is a big celebrity hub and has been a hub for celebrities all over the globe. The prices are high but excellent views, appetizing food and great company is assured while you are here. Not just that, the café is also a historical marvel and once housed Picasso, Sartre and Camus; even today its beautiful décor inside, and simple sublime furniture outside makes this place an excellent place for an outing!
10:00am Hop out of the café and shop at Saint-Germain des Prés neighbourhood. Look out for best bargains and stuff your bags with Parisian goodies!
12.30pm Time to dash for a sumptuous lunch at L’Avant Comtoire. A few minutes of walk will take you in front of this small wine bar which shares proximity with Le Comptoir, another landmark of this neighbourhood. This place is famous for its crepes, sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres and delicacies like fried croquettes stuffed with Iberian ham, chicken hearts smoked and grilled with garlic and parsley and charcuterie, which are truly divine. But here, a proper reservation is a must because it has no chairs and the place cannot house more than twelve guests at once.
02.00pm Time to pick up a rental car and leave for Côte Fleurie. The drive would take around 2.30 hours and will be undertaken on the A13 motorway that follows the river Seine.
04.30pm Check-in at hotel La Chaumière in Honfleur which is hidden behind wild meadows and is just minutes away Deauville.
05.00pm: Go for a stroll along the beach that shares border with this hotel and hang around at the hotel’s indoor swimming pool.
08.30pm Go for a small snack, preferably aperitif at the bar and wine and dine at the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 3: Taste the brilliance
09.00am Time for breakfast at the hotel.
10.30am Head for Trouville on foot and keep in mind that this Flowery Coast is not called “The Queen of Beaches” for nothing! The clean blue-green ocean filled with swimmers and fishermen and people from all walks of life give this place a different aura altogether. There are casinos, palaces, villas, hotels but none takes away the authenticity of this place as a restful space which once played host to artists and writers like Flaubert and Boudin.
01.00pm Lunch at one of the fish market stalls of Trouville’s fishing harbour.
2.00pm A walk past lunch in and around the village of Deauville is as breathtaking as it could be. The place called the jewel of la Côte Fleurie has garnered international acclaim as it has come to symbolize a place of rendezvous for who’s who of France. Being home to American Film Festival, international polo and horse racing events give this place a hue of traditional Parisian oomph with dashes of modernity that attract stars, intellectuals and other famous people. The must see places here include ‘The International Centre’, ‘The racecourse’, ‘Elie de Brignac auction rooms’, ‘La Breloque’, ‘The house of Eugène Boudin’, The Villa Strassburger, The Casino, and Sea bathing establishment.
05.00pm Here comes the adventurous part; you get to assist a horse race in Deauville!!! To be able to do so is like becoming part of equestrian history as fifty percent of winners of these horse races and equestrian sports in France have been bred and trained here, and this place is also one of France's largest racehorse training centres.
08.00pm Head to Normandy Palace’s bar to munch on aperitif. The setting of this place may take one by surprise due to its English countryside like décor that includes dovecotes, gables and other hallmarks of English designs. The place also draws gamblers from all parts of France and has great security system as well so do try your luck here!
09.00pm Time to leave for dinner at scintillating Chez Miocque in Deauville and this place is just perfect; warm atmosphere, friendly staff and excellent food. Try not to miss out on mussels with French fries, scallop of veal Normandy and cod with mashed potatoes that goes well with wines. But do keep in mind that this place is shut on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
11.00pm Back to the hotel in Honfleur.
Day 4: A memorable journey back
09.00am Breakfast at the Hotel and check-out.
10.30am Walk around the village and the harbour of Honfleur.
01.00pm Try sea-themed lunch at restaurant Cap 42 on the harbour of Honfleur.
02.30pm Time to leave for Paris.